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Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Well, it depends what you call a trick. For one person to clean them all fast? Not really. Truly the best way to clean mushrooms of any quantity if to gently and quickly wipe the surface with a fairly lintless towel. As for the trick part, I'd suggest getting some friends involved, put on some good music, supply some beer, and then get them to help make dinner from the mushrooms they helped clean.
i was afraid you'd say that. Someone once told me about agitating them in a water/flour solution, but I never saw it implemented. I am also aware of the negative impacts of saturating mushrooms. Keep me posted though if anyone has any ideas
Most varieties of mushroom have a water content in the 80-90% range. They are sponge-y. This is why they shrink so much when sauteed. Contrary to the oft-cited advice to not wash, I wash them. The small amount of surface water is not going to make a big difference in the quality of the mushroom. It will slow down browning for sauteed mushrooms, but not significantly because you always have to wait for the liquid to evaporate anyway. Unfortunately, Brandon, even if you choose to wash, preparing mushrooms will still be a time-consuming, tedious task!
My purveyor washesl his mushrooms that come in and wets them down to keep them fresh ( he also sells them " from the field ") or else they dry out. The Important thing to remember if your going to wash mushrooms it's not something you can do and cook them in the same day. Uncovored in referidgeration or in a small amount in paper bag in refridgeration help dry them. You can tell when the moisture has evaperated overtime by thier wieght, feel and look. It's important though that you give them space to breath or else they get slimy. Again I don't wash any mushrooms and use them in the same day and if I have under a few pounds I take the time to brush. But when you several flats, you have to do what works for the situation. Even if that includes washing.
what if they have a high ratio of surface area to volume ie morels and such
Jacques Pepin and Alton Brown both say a quick wash in water will not hurt. Just drain well, dry in cloth or paper towel(s), and use right away. Two people I trust and advice I follow.
It depends on where these mushrooms are headed. If it is in for storage or sale, it is best not to clean them yet, or try to wipe off dirt individually. If it is an application that requires a quick cooking time, for some reason, wiping individually is your best answer.
However, I have found, and the French Culinary Institute's Tech blog agrees, that thoroughly washing mushrooms in water, even to the point of soaking is not only "acceptable" or "won't hurt", but is actually better in the end in terms of browning, lesser amount of oil absorbed, and flavor. You do have to cook them for a while, though.
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